I recently discovered my love of a game I used to play on my Xbox 360. XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its bigger brother XCOM: Enemy Within both recently went backwards compatible on the Xbox One. Backwards compatible games are Xbox 360 games using an emulator to alloy you to play them on the Xbox One whether you own the digital or disc version of the games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown also recently became available for free with the Games with Gold program. Owning both games already, the former via a disc and the later via digital I have been reintroduced to a gaming franchise that has a long history dating back to 1994 and this successful reboot. The difference in these games is Enemy Unknown is the base game only and you can purchase the DLC whereas Enemy Within includes all the additional content and improved graphics and animations.

Not only does this game franchise have deep roots but the developer Firaxis as well has a long history of successful turned base games. Best known for their Civilizations franchise I can say there isn’t a game they have developed that I haven’t enjoyed. Any game that has Sid Meier’s name in front of it you can credit to this development team as well as some others. Sid is still the lead developer even after 20 years creating over 30 games with some still in development. Including Sid and two other members of the original development team at MicroProse that created the original XCOM series, left MicroProse to form Firaxis.


All XCOM games are about saving the earth from an attack from outer space and trying to figure out what they want. Most games in the series are strategy, turned base games with a few other types thrown in. The Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within games this is done using an elite world group called XCOM that is overseen by the Counsel of Nations with a mysterious person in charge that keeps watch on your progress. Managing and building on your base and launching satellites, keeping those in charge satisfied with your efforts, keeping as many of the countries as possible with lowered panicked to earn more money, researching recovered alien technology, and bodies so you can utilize it against them by developing it to be used by your international army are all the management game within the game. But the majority of your time will be spent with your international army preventing alien abductions, searching UFO crash sites for technology while recovering what you can. There is even a mission to capture an alien alive so it can be interrogated. This is done on a turn base platform with strategy being of the utmost importance. If anyone dies on the battlefield they are permanently dead and you can view them in your memorial at your base. The replay ability of this game is incredible considering you have 6 different countries you can start your base in and each with a different bonus, 4 different difficulty levels, several different additional settings to help move the sliders that determine the outcome in certain situations or what might be called dice rolls as well as an Ironman setting that only allows one save and everything that happens is permanent and cannot be replayed. I would strongly recommend getting any version of this franchise that you can however XCOM: Enemy Within is my favorite of all of them. At least till XCOM 2 comes out and we will see then.


Missed it Monday is a unique segment designed to allow anyone part of The Hidden Levels to share a retrospective look at their favorite games from the past. These games are past favorites from no particular console or time. Simply put these are games we think you may have missed or that we personally miss and want to share our memories of. Missed it Monday can be followed on social media using #MiM and is published weekly.


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